The My Beach, Your Beach campaign is coming back to Portobello again this year.
The aim is to raise awareness of pollution and the impact on water quality of everything from dog fouling to litter and feeding gulls.
There will be community clean up events this year with litter picking stations and citizen science surveys.
Harem Murdochy, owner of St Andrews Restaurant and member of Keep Porty Tidy said: “We’re looking forward to Keep Scotland Beautiful bringing their My Beach, Your Beach campaign back to Portobello this year. Keep Porty Tidy will be supporting the campaign throughout the summer, kicking off with a clean up on World Ocean’s Day which will be attended by our mascot Larry the Lobster who will unveil the new litter picking stations”
Last year the initiative was a soaring success, recording a reduction in litter of 12-15% at all three beaches, Portobello, Ayr and Fisherrow, as well as bolstering engagement with an 82% public awareness of the campaign and its key messages. Now, the community in Kinghorn, Fife, will be encouraged to get involved, making a difference to the beach that is already so well loved.
The interventions run alongside a range of efforts by the Scottish Government, SEPA and Scottish Water to improve bathing waters across Scotland.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“I am pleased to see the return of the My Beach, Your Beach campaign again this summer, which has made a valuable contribution to increasing public awareness on the impact litter of all kinds can have on our beaches.
“The Scottish Government is committed to protecting Scotland’s natural environment and the health and wellbeing of our communities. Campaigns like this one will help us to develop long term solutions to the challenges facing Scotland’s coastlines – keeping our beaches clean for everyone to enjoy, particularly as we approach the Year of Coast and Waters in 2020.”
Aoife Hutton, Project Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:
“We’re really pleased to be rolling out the My Beach, Your Beach campaign in 2019 following last year’s success. It is particularly great to welcome a new addition, Kinghorn Harbour, to the campaign. The initiative helps to support the activity undertaken by SEPA, the Scottish Government and other agencies to tackle known sources of pollution.
“The outcomes of 2018 set a high bar for this summer, and we can’t wait to start our work with the communities and local authorities to make sure we can make an even bigger difference to the beaches at Fisherrow, Portobello, Ayr and Kinghorn.”
While the four campaign beaches will benefit from strategic campaigns, beaches all across Scotland will be able to access a specially developed campaign toolkit, with online resources available for download, helping them to take control of keeping their beaches clean.
Calum McPhail, Environmental Quality Manager at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:
“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s stunning environment. By targeting behaviour on beaches and promenades that can affect bathing water quality Keep Scotland Beautiful’s ‘My Beach, Your Beach’ campaign complements SEPA’s work. More of Scotland’s bathing waters are meeting the ‘excellent’ classification rating, and this year Portobello (West) passed the stricter water quality standards for the first time. Working with partners we’re continuing our focus on bathing waters rated as ‘poor’ with tailored improvement plans, prepared by SEPA, well underway. We are committed to providing real time information on bathing water quality to ensure those heading to Scotland’s beaches can have a great day, and through partnership working we hope to see further improvements in bathing water quality in the coming months and years.”
Further information can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/mybeachyourbeach